Here’s a fact that you’re unlikely to find out for yourself – the day after you’re almost killed by a vampire satyr you really want to sleep in. It’s all you want to do. It’s called the vampire lazies I believe. But alas I was up early. I never get what I want, but at least I don’t complain about it. I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t always talk your way out of a fight – which is unfortunate but it doesn’t make it any less true. Since I’m all alone out here in the dangerous world now I figure I need some tips and tricks on how not get killed. Towards that end I sought out the master of arms Hlebinksy to get in on his morning training with the squires or cadets or whatever the Hells they are. Your typical master of arms comes in two models – the grizzled old veteran who’s barrel chested and bushy-bearded or the sinister looking young fellow with a shaved head and a nasty scar. Hlebinksy must be in the middle of the transition, not yet old enough to be grizzled but no young buck neither. Appropriately his beard and hair were at the half-way point.
As I walked into the courtyard he bawled at his charges to line up and stand at attention in the presence of a lady. To the surprise of no one he balked at the idea of training me – I mean a noble woman learning to fight? What’s next, a goat mayor?
“Can we skip the back and forth and get to the part where you reluctantly agree to train me?”
He gave me a look that I assume was meant to be compassionate but looked more like a mouse was nibbling on this nethers. “You don’t need to worry about protection m’lady, that’s why the Gods made workhorses like me. It’s all part of the plan you see. Everything and everyone has their own role and yours isn’t to be bleeding and dying on the battlefield.”
“Hmm , have the things that regularly try to make me bleed and die heard about this arrangement? Because I have to tell you Hlebinksy they don’t seem to be playing by the rules.”
After some bluster and boasting about what he would do to anyone who ever even thought about hurting me he changed tactics.
“M’lady, even if I wanted to train you there would be no point, not for nothing, not offense and all, but look at you – you don’t weigh mor’n a wet cat. I would never do such a thing of course, but I could send you flying with me lil finger.”
“That’s why I need your help. If someone stronger grabs hold of you how do you get loose? If someone faster is chasing you how to you get away? I’m not planning on strapping on some mail and charging the lines at Oldmin’s Folly, I just want to give myself a chance if I get into a scrap that I can’t avoid. And believe me Hlebinksy, I will really true to avoid a scrap.”
He harrumphed, and a mighty harrumph it was indeed “It just wouldn’t be proper, can’t have you out here sweatin’ and rollin’ around with these lads.”
“Hlebinksy can I tell you a secret?” I beckoned him down to my level, I’m a tall woman but he was a good head and half above me. “Lean down here for a moment” I stood on tip-toe and whispered into his ear “I personally killed at least thirty people. I don’t even know how many. I’ve lost track. So I wouldn’t worry too much about my delicate temperament.”
He stood up and was about to make some comment about how that couldn’t be true but he saw the look in my eye and he knew I was telling the truth. I nodded slightly and he shook his head.
“I’ll find you some proper clothes” he walked off muttering about how he would never live this down if anyone found out.
Training was about as much fun as falling down a flight of marble stairs but it still might be better than the mind-numbing tedium of attending to the Baroness. It’s a tough call. I suppose that’s the choice that most people have to make for the entire lives – monotony or exhaustion. Actually most of them get to have both most likely.
After that fun little diversion I was at the kennels helping Quinna again. Subtle use of my newfound ability to speak with animals was able to solve a problem with one of his dogs that he hadn’t been able to crack for months. He was overjoyed. For a moment he even capered – when’s the last time you saw someone caper?
But the day wasn’t over yet, I joined up with the Baroness in the late afternoon to help her with her household duties and then got down to the real work – giving her some lessons in the fine art of manipulation. The key is you have to have a light touch – like picking a pocket. If you do your job right people won’t be sure that you’d done anything at all.
After lights out I snuck out of the keep – much easier now that I’ve learned to disguise myself without needing any magical aid – and retrieved the vampire satyr’s gear. Her hair had woven itself into a rope of some kind, I knew that the hair of nymphs and dryads the like were magical but I didn’t expect that. I’m really going to miss my extra-dimensional hiding places, it’s not like I can carry a rope around with me. Maybe I should pretend to take up mountaineering.
One step at a time.
Inventory: Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Dagger of Venom, Bracers of Armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, Rope of Entanglement, Enchanted Feycloth Dress (Green)
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince
Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle
the butler , Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire
Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna
& Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy
dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the
Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus
Parmalee, Helgan van Tankerstrum,
Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin
Behind the curtain – Day one of retraining another Expert level to Rogue. Narratively making this combat training since a 7th level Rogue should be a little better combatant than I normally portray Ela as being.